Businesses big and small receive awards at annual Columbia County Economic Team breakfast

by: JOHN BREWINGTON FOR THE SPOTLIGHT - Heather Clark accepts CCETs award for small business of the year. Clark owns and operates Sewing Up the Market, an alterations business in St. HelensFour Columbia County businesses received awards at the well-attended annual Columbia County Economic Team breakfast on Tuesday at the St. Helens Elks Lodge.

The St. Helens Les Schwab tire store received the business expansion award for its rebuild after a devastating fire in 2012.

Manager Terry McMahon noted that the Les Schwab store is a prototype, just the second in the state to have the new design. The building is bigger, with large windows and natural lighting and energy-efficient layout.

The small business award went to Heather Clark of St. Helens, owner of Sewing Up the Market. Clark now employs several part-time employees in the clothing alterations trade.

Global Partners LP was recognized for being the area’s large business for its $94.2 million expansion at Port Westward. Global’s purchase of the Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery is expected to expand job opportunities at the enthanol plant. Ed Faneuil, Global’s CEO, accepted the award. by: JOHN BREWINGTON FOR THE SPOTLIGHT - Global Partners CEO Ed Faneuil accepted the CCET award for the countys large business of the year.

CCET selected Mirco Enterprises Services of Oregon, which is commonly known by the acronym, MESO, for the economic development initiative award. MESO assists small-business start-ups and other entrepreneurs with business support to increase growth in income, assets and business skills. Sanford Maddox, MESO’s executive director, accepted the award.

As many as 165 people attended the breakfast. Speakers included Jill Mills of Business Oregon National, Sen. Betsy Johnson, Rep. Brad Witt, Mary Heberling of St. Helens Economic Development Company, and Dr. Birgitte Ryslinge of Portland Community College, plus moderator Chuck Daughtry, CCET executive director.

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